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or palankeen

[pal-uh n-keen] /ˌpæl ənˈkin/
(formerly in India and other Eastern countries) a passenger conveyance, usually for one person, consisting of a covered or boxlike litter carried by means of poles resting on the shoulders of several men.
Origin of palanquin
1580-90; < Middle French < Dutch pallankin < Portuguese palanquimPali pallaṅka, Sanskrit palyaṅka; compare Oriya pālaṅki
Related forms
palanquiner, palankeener, noun
palanquiningly, palankeeningly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for palanquin
Historical Examples
  • I had been trying to see the person who sat in the palanquin.

    The Room in the Dragon Volant J. Sheridan LeFanu
  • When their master's palanquin passed, they bowed their heads to the dust, as was proper.

    Japanese Fairy World William Elliot Griffis
  • They had with them a god, which they were carrying in a palanquin.

    India and the Indians Edward F. Elwin
  • There they set down the palanquin with the queen in it, and started home again.

  • The palanquin is carried by porters—just as in the drawing given above.

  • The idol also was taken out of the flames, and finished its journey in a palanquin.

    Old Daniel Thomas Hodson
  • We accordingly at once set to work to construct a sort of palanquin.

    Twice Lost W.H.G. Kingston
  • The princess was put into this palanquin, and immediately set out for Calais.

    Richard II Jacob Abbott
  • He flapped his wings, and instantly a palanquin appeared at the foot of the steps.

    The Cuckoo Clock Mrs. Molesworth
  • All the money that Dearsley Sahib had taken from us was in the cushions of that palanquin.

    Soldier Stories Rudyard Kipling
British Dictionary definitions for palanquin


a covered litter, formerly used in the Orient, carried on the shoulders of four men
Word Origin
C16: from Portuguese palanquim, from Prakrit pallanka, from Sanskrit paryanka couch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for palanquin

"a covered litter," 1580s, from Portuguese palanquim (early 16c.), from Malay and Javanese palangki "litter, sedan," ultimately from Sanskrit palyanka-s "couch, bed, litter," from pari "around" + ancati "it bends, curves," related to anka-s "a bend, hook, angle," and meaning, perhaps, "that which bends around the body." Some have noted the "curious coincidence" of Spanish palanca, from Latin phalanga "pole to carry a burden."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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